Feeds

Skype reverse-engineered and open sourced

How soon will Microsoft blow?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

There have been many analyses of Skype’s behaviour over the years (the most famous perhaps is from Baset and Schultzrinne), but as far as Vulture Central is aware, nobody has yet gone so far as to reverse-engineer the whole kit-and-caboodle.

That’s the claim being made by Efim Bushmanov on this blog, where he offers his reverse-engineered Skype source code available for download.

His work is almost certain to spark debate over the legality – and license-compliance – of reverse-engineering the software. It’s also quite likely to spark a response from Skype’s new owner, Microsoft.

The Register has not yet had the time to install or test the code (if that were, in fact, legal to do), so we can’t vouch for its operation.

Whether Bushmanov has broken any laws or breached any license terms depends on the conditions under which he’s undertaken the project (and to some extent, the jurisdiction in which he worked).

It’s hard to replicate perfectly the behaviour of any software under completely clean-room conditions, and probably even harder to prove that such conditions existed. Bushmanov would at the very least have to demonstrate that he worked without a copy of the software to hand – that somebody else ran the software and observed its behaviours. The authors of the reverse-engineered copy would have to write their software solely from Skype’s reported behaviour under different conditions.

According to this discussion on Hacker News, Bushmanov seems to be including original Skype binaries in its downloads, which would be a no-no. However, HN’s interpretation is based on the filenames rather than the contents of the files; perhaps Bushmanov simply didn’t have the nous to give his files names that weren’t subject to confusion.

The Register does however anticipate a swift response from Microsoft, if the software is what it claims to be. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.